One of the most prominent forts in the nation is Mehrangarh, sometimes referred to as Mehran Fort, which Rao Jodha constructed in Jodhpur in 1459. It is protected by enormous walls and located at the summit of a hill that is 410 feet above sea level. One of Jodhpur’s most well-known forts, it has been used in several Hollywood and Bollywood films, including The Lion King, The Dark Knight Rises, and the more recent Thugs of Hindostan. The Fort’s entryway is beautiful and includes seven gates. These are Victory Gate, Fateh Gate, Gopal Gate, Bhairon Gate, Dedh Kamagra Gate, Marti Gate, and Loha Gate. Each was constructed at a different time and serves a distinct purpose. While one has cannonball markings, the other has spikes that can defend it against elephant and animal assaults. However, Victory Gate was created to commemorate Maharaja Man Singh’s victory against the troops of Jaipur and Bikaner. The Fort also features luxurious buildings such as the Sheesh Mahal (Glass Palace) and the Phool Mahal (Rose Palace).
The elaborate carvings on the Fort’s walls, the expansive courtyards, great history, and the stunning palaces, museums, and galleries draw visitors from all over the world. The Fort also houses one of Rajasthan’s best museums. The Mehrangarh Museum has six galleries: Elephant’s Howdahs, Palanquins, Daulat Khana, Armoury, Paintings, and the Turban Gallery. Mehrangarh Fort’s tourist attractions include the National Geological Monument, Nagnecha Mataji Temple, Chamunda Temple, and Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park.
Mehrangarh Fort History
The exciting history of Mehrangarh Fort takes us back to when Rao Jodha, the 15th Rathore ruler, founded Jodhpur in 1459. Son of Raja Ram Mal, Rao Jodha ruled the city from Mandore but shifted his capital to Jodhpur. He then laid the foundation of the Fort on Bhaucheeria hill, which was just 9 km away from Mandore. The Fort was named Mehrangarh Fort since the chief deity of Rathores was the Sun, and the meaning of ‘Mehran’ is the Sun. Apart from the major construction, many more additions were made by the other rulers of Jodhpur, like Maldeo Maharaja, Ajit Singh Maharaja, Takhat Singh, and Maharaja Hanwant Singh.
Mehrangarh Fort Architecture
The Fort and palaces were built over 500 years, and thus one can see the basic architectural style of the mid-15th century along with the features of 20th-century architecture. The Fort has 68ft wide and 117 ft. Long walls overlooking the surrounding areas. It has seven gates. The most popular among them is the Jayapoli. The architecture of the Fort went through several developments over 500 years. During the rule of Maharaja Ajit Singh, many buildings of the Fort were constructed in Mughal design. Besides the seven gates that leave tourists awestruck, there are several brilliantly crafted rooms like Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Daulat Khana, Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), and Sileh Khan. Moti Mahal, or the Pearl Palace, was built by Raja Sur Singh. Sheesh, Mahal, or the Hall of Mirrors, is famous for intricate designs on pieces of mirrors. Maharaja Abhaya Singh created Phool Mahal. One can see the magnificent craftsmanship of Jodhpuri craftsmen in the sandstone used to construct the palace.
Best Time To Visit Mehrangarh Fort
The best time to visit Mehrangarh Fort is during winter. Between October to March, the weather remains calm and pleasant and offers you an excellent opportunity to explore the entire Fort.
The ideal time of the day to visit the Fort is the winter mornings. Right after breakfast, set out to the Fort as it gets opened for tourists at 9:00 am. After spending two or three hours, you can head to the nearby tourist places to spend the rest of the day.
Some scintillating festivals reflect Jodhpur’s rich culture and heritage, which takes place in the Fort. Some of them are:
Gangaur- It is held every year in April, and a grand procession of Gangaur Mataji is carried out from the Fort
Rajasthan International Folk Festival: This musical festival brings together some of the finest singers and artists. Spectacular concerts and musical events are held in Mehrangarh Fort.
Dusshera: To celebrate Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana, a procession is taken out from the Fort, which later concludes in the city.
Around Mehrangarh Fort
The Chamunda Mataji Temple
When Rao Jodha shifted his capital from Mandore to Jodhpur, he also carried his idol, Durga Mata. The model was installed in the Fort, and now many devotees visit the temple.
This temple is located on the extreme right of the Fort. It was built in the 14th century when Rao Dhuhad brought the idol of Nagnechji to Marwar, which was later installed in the Fort.
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park is just for you if you are a nature lover. Spread over 72 hectares, the park has desert and arid land vegetation. The visitors, along with guides and naturalists, go on exciting 880 to 1100 meters long trails. You can discover some unique plants here.
This beautiful garden should be added to your to-do list. It is situated right below the Mehrangarh Fort, and though it belongs to the 18th century, the park has been restored. It also has a restaurant where you can enjoy the picturesque view of Jodhpur.